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  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 8:34 pm on August 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , anticipate, behaviors, , crm, , exceptional, habits, provide, , ,   

    Your Small Business Should Provide Exceptional Customer Service 

    Providing exceptional customer service should be at the top of your list. Does your company provide great customer service? If not then maybe you should work on it. If you don’t provide great customer service then I’m sure that your competition does. If you value your customers then providing exceptional customer service is highly important. With so much competition around, you wouldn’t want them to steal your customers away.

    Increasing competition is forcing businesses (big & small) to pay more attention to satisfying their customers by providing exceptional customer service. You could start by developing a customer service manual & use it as a guide book on handling your customers. You can edit it as time goes by. Every business should have one. Provide open lines of communication. Be available for your customers in good or bad times. Let your customers know how they can contact you. Be very attentive to their needs, let them know that you are there for them.

    Don’t take forever to respond to your customers requests or inquiries. Answer their calls or emails in a timely manner & provide necessary feedback. Learn to anticipate your customers needs. Look for patterns & observe your customers. When you see that certain customer behaviors match a certain pattern make note of it & take action. How are your customers purchasing habits? Will your customers have the same needs in the future? What do they have to say about your products or services? What are they doing? Etc… Look for cause & effect to see how they react to certain products, services, specials, changes in your business etc….

    Keep track of their comments, questions, suggestions & make note of them in your customer service manual. If they make a suggestions on how to improve things in your business, take this into consideration. You can make note of it, think about it then decide if you’ll follow up on their suggestions. Watch how you interact with them & take steps to improve on your involvement with customers. Do what you need to do to improve your products or service.

    See if  making certain improvements are in the best interest of your company or customers. This could help you to determine if customer suggestions are viable options for your business to pursue. Solve any problems as soon as they arise in order to avoid later complications. When handling a challenging situation or phone call from a customer, remain poised, calm, and confident.

    This allows you to focus on a solution and show the customer that you have the situation under control & that you’re willing to provide a solution. Document, strategize & plan how you will deal with your customers. When you create a customer service manual it could greatly benefit you & your customer. When a situation arises you’ll know what to do & have a handbook to refer to on how your company will deal with customers. Your customer service manual should be: immediate, clear, succinct, and complete. If you have co-workers, keep in mind that other people have to be able to quickly and easily understand your notes. Everyone should follow the same customer service procedures. Take time to improve on your customer service today!

     
    • Deeo 8:30 am on August 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Is there a forum somewhere related to this, or would you be able to answer a few questions

    • WSJ 8:15 pm on August 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      It’s amazing how often big companies get customer service so very wrong. The arrogance of being big, I guess. It’s a mistake I’ll never make.

    • Kowaken 6:01 pm on July 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Great post. I agree that Providing exceptional customer service should be at the top of your list inorder to grow your business.

    • Koushal 12:18 pm on October 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for sharing such a nice topic on “Your Small Business Should Provide Exceptional Customer Service” , really helpful for me.

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 6:24 pm on December 29, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: big idea, crm, , economic development, economic growth, , ,   

    A Business Strategy: So What, Who Needs It? 

    As you go about your day & your business , do you just haphazardly move through your business or projects without a strategic plan? Are you struggling with the implementation aspect?header_crm_ondemand

    Every business or project needs a strategic plan & that plan needs implementation.  When you have a plan you set the needed course for yourself & your business.  But without implementation it’s going nowhere.

    So therefore, your business or projects are stagnate, just stuck there not moving forward , no progress, just nothing, the same old, same old.

    There are a lot of different types of business strategies and when you have the best strategy for your business it becomes the foundation for the course that you need to take to improve on your business or projects. A solid strategy can guide you in the right direction & keep you on the path to progress or success.

    In this ever changing business world, there is a high need to stay competitive,  create longevity & develop innovative business strategies.

    Well, What Is A Business Strategy?

    Strategy is a lot of things rolled into one such as the art, science and craft of formulating, implementing and evaluating cross-functional decisions that will enable an organization to achieve its long-term objectives.

    The process of specifying the organization’s mission, vision and objectives, developing policies and plans, often in terms of projects and programs, which are designed to achieve these objectives, and then allocating resources to implement the policies and plans, projects and programs.

    The whole concept of strategy was borrowed from the military and adapted for business use, such as bridging the gap between policy and tactics. When you have that; your strategy & tactics bridge the gap between the ends and the means.

    Effective strategic management enables a company to move quickly in response to new challenges & outmoded ideas. You have got to be innovative & creative with your business strategy, in order to have a competitive advantage.  Along with that you have to have more than a strategy, you HAVE TO HAVE IMPLEMENTATION. Meaning that your strategy must have direction & a destination.

    Businesses that have already taken hold on innovative strategies can buckle down, leap ahead and create multi-year growth gaps over the competition. You can use current conditions to accelerate your efforts to truly change at the pace of the market without losing control. Use the present economic climate to look at business activities that have passed their sell-by date and dispassionately discontinue them.

    By being optimistic, innovative & strategic you can see a silver lining amid today’s economic conditions & benefit from making strategic moves that build on your unique advantages. In the field of business administration it is useful to talk about “strategic alignment” between the organization and its environment or “strategic consistency”.

    Strategic management is the highest level of managerial activity. According to Arieu (2007), “there is strategic consistency when the actions of an organization are consistent with the expectations of management, and these in turn are with the market and the context.”

    Strategy is execution. If our strategy & execution are both flawed, the effort is “doomed from the beginning.” The chances of success are zero, slim to none. If the strategy is sound but its execution is flawed, then it’s known as a “botched job.”  Then it’s back to the drawing board.

    In one instance, you can be doing something very well that you shouldn’t be doing at all, that is to say having a FLAWED strategy but a FLAWLESS execution. That’s flirting with disaster. For example, an organization with little in the way of competition and believing its products to be seriously under-priced in relation to their value, might elect to raise prices as a way of testing price sensitivity. Only to discover that very strong price sensitivity was there all along. The result is a sudden & unexpected loss in volume & revenue.

    It’s only when you have a sound strategy AND execution, you have a better chance of success.

    ~~~~~~~~

    Clerical Business Solutions~http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

     
  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 5:27 pm on December 8, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: crm, expenses, export, , , , , ,   

    Reduce Your Expenses & Lighten Your Load With Outsourcing 

    In today’s business environment there has always been a need to stay more 200195866-001competitive, reduce your expenses, lighten your workload & reduce high employee turnover. Like yourself, many business owners & professionals have been able to accomplish those things through outsourcing. Sometimes you just want to unload your burdens or time-consuming tasks so you can move on to other things.

     

    Outsourcing is increasingly becoming a key business strategy.

    It’s a tried & true method in business.  

    American Express

    It would be to your advantage to outsource many of your back-office functions. When you do it for the right reasons, outsourcing will help your company to grow & increase profits.

    By leveraging the resources of others helps you to gain more balance, focus, organization & helps your business operations or projects to run better in a more strategic & organized manner.
    Total Training - DVD and Online Software Training

    You may be feeling the same pressures that other companies are feeling and that is to improve financial performance. That stems from increased workloads, so you have to do more to make more. With that said, the reasons to outsource expand.  

    Outsourcing can help you to improve on your CRM (customer relationship management).

    When you lower capital equipment costs & labor expenses by passing them on to an outsource service provider, you can free up capital & human resources to focus on core business competencies. You gain a more competitive advantage & for some, that’s more important than cost reduction.

    Outsourcing through Virtual Assistance is on the rise and a great resouce for outsourcing. You don’t have to go far to find Virtual Assistance for outsourcing projects or operations.

    You will have expenses as long as you are in business whether you are successful or just making ends meet. You must be on the look out for ways to successfully maintain your business & reduce your expenses.

    Outsourcing in it’s original context, was a shorter way of saying “the use of outside resources.”  Today it means delegating work to an external contractor specializing in a specific function.

    When you have a well defined strategic plan, outsourcing can be a powerful tool for your business.

    ist1_5370979_buried_in_papersEvery company must evaluate the risks and benefits of outsourcing with respect to it’s own values, core competencies, organizational capabilities and long term strategies. That’s why it is best to outsource with a company that shares the same interests as yours, a company who wants to accomplish the same goals that you have in mind.

    Under the right circumstances, outsourcing entire functions or pieces of a select function can create an effective mix of services. An effective mix of services in relation to your business or projects & using outside resources.

    Outsourcing the wrong business operations or outsourcing at the wrong time could create operation issues, service issues, cloud weaknesses in your companies cost structure and inhibit important aspects of your long-term growth & development.

    Take some time out to reevaluate your operations and services to determine which functions could be outsourced on a permenant or temporary basis. Take into consideration the non-core business functions that you would benefit the most from if they were outsourced.

    Yes, you can implement shared services within your company by restructuring & consolidating internally. But with that comes the added burden of an increased workload on you or your current staff.

    So turning to an outside service provider to manage certain business functions is a viable option. At some point in time, most companies have to face the question of whether or not to outsource. 

    When you seek assistance from a company outside of your organization,to offload a specific task or function, you are outsourcing.

    Entrepreneurs and small business people are always looking for creative ways to accomplish more of their business goals for less money. One strategy that can help you save time, money and frustration as you start and build your business is to outsource as much work as possible to skilled, but cost-effective, external service providers.

    Don’t let the economy stop you from improving on your business. There is a way out, a way to stay afloat & keep business going.

    What are your reasons for not outsourcing & delegating?

    What measures are you taking to

    improve on your business operations?

    ~Author~

    Clerical Business Solutions~”The Innovative Outsourcing Solution”

    Business Management Services & Virtual Assistance

    Renee: renee@clericalsolutionsinc.net     http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

    Hot Offers (12.14 - 12.20)

     
    • Kathy Colaiacovo 2:42 am on December 9, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Very good tips for business owners to consider. There are so many things that take up business time, yet are vital to running the business!
      I also recommend that people looking at the possibility of hiring a VA check out http://www.VAnetworking.com It’s an organization that owners can use to help them learn what traits and info to check out when hiring a VA. It’s also a great place for VAs to network with other VAs. It has info for people on both sides, the client and the VA.

    • Clerical Business Solutions 2:57 am on December 9, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Kathy,

      Professionals, individuals & business owners should consider other ways of doing business, which will add to their success & improved productivity. They can achieve that through outsourcing.

      Outsourcing to VA-Virtual Assistance is a great resource, no matter what the economy looks like. In a down economy you need all of the help that you can get.

      VA assistance doesn’t subtract from your business it only adds to your business or projects. Outsourcing helps you to gain more control over your business.

      Clerical Business Solutions~”The Innovative Outsourcing Solution”
      Virtual Assistant Services & Business Management
      Renee: renee@clericalsolutionsinc.net
      http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

    • SEO Link Builder 3:18 am on December 9, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      That’s right about outsourcing through virtual assistant. To reduce expenses and reduce your work load outsourcing your business is a good thing to do. Keeping in mind that economy is frequent changing so improving also your business make it competitive is the way to achieve.

      Nice blog.

    • Clerical Business Solutions 3:29 am on December 9, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Seo,

      Thanks, many people don’t know how good outsourcing can be for your business. Provided that you choose the right service provider for your needs.

      A lot of solo-professionals or business owners want to be more competitive, have a larger presence in the business market but stay a small business. Many of them don’t have the time, money or resources to hire new employees or raise the salaries of current employees.

      So they have found beneficial support through outsourcing without raising costs, reducing overhead & increasing profits.

      Clerical Business Solutions~”Innovative Solutions Start Here!”
      Virtual Assistant services & Business Management
      Renee: renee@clericalsolutionsinc.net
      http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

    • Victoria 1:38 am on April 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      As the economy flounders and the job market sags many individuals are turning to privately owned business. Seeing the CEO’s taking home big fat bonus checks while they are laid off or asked to take pay cuts. The desire to ‘be your own boss’ increases and you venture out with your strong skills to start a business. Many of these businesses are in trouble before they really get started. The small business owner while having exemplary skills in his/her field may not have the necessary business operational skills. The day today functionality of a business can be ignored because the small business owner is busily servicing his customers needs.
      Out sourcing is a great way to insure the business is operating properly.

      • Clerical Business Solutions 3:11 pm on April 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Victoria,

        You’ve made some valid points because a lot of CEO’s of top companies are making it bad for those that work under them: the employees and/or professionals.

        Many employees or former employees of top companies may want to start there own businesses and that’s all well and good. I’m all for entrepreneurship but just jumping into a business is not a wise option. There are many steps to take to start a business.

        Starting a business is one thing but MAINTAINING A BUSINESS is a whole other story in itself. That’s where many people fail at is the MAINTENANCE PART.

        The day to day maintenance of business can get a lot of business owners and employees into trouble. You can see prime examples from what’s been going on in the news. If entrepreneurs/ business owners could get the maintenance part of business together then their business would operate a lot smoother.

        But yes, seeking outsourcing services is a good option for many business owners and professionals. Seeking the services of a business consultant & support service such as Clerical Business Solutions is a wise option.

        The way that a person maintains their business can determine how far they will succeed.

        Clerical Business Solutions
        Business Development Consulting & Project Support
        “Your Single Solution For Total Service!”
        http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net
        Renee: renee@clericalsolutionsinc.net

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 6:39 pm on December 2, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: crm, facebook, interactions, , , people, public relations, , , twitter,   

    Make No Substitutions For Real CRM 

    Many companies are utilizing the tools of social media in relation to CRM. The tools of social media such101 as blogs, wikis, podcasts, UGC (user generated content): comments, review, social tags, bookmarks, rankings, ratings, photos and video are used to foster social interaction, not substitutions for real CRM. No matter what the economy looks like some companies are investing more in various areas of social media tools.

    Other companies need to make a change but don’t. Social media & CRM go hand in hand to some degree. But true, beneficial customer engagements are governed by trust, transparency & personal experience. Some companies try to automate their way out of dealing with the real issues by throwing social media tools at them & mix it with a little marketing, customer service & sales.

    But is that really the way to go?

    Some companies try to use them as an easy out from developing a true customer engagement strategy. These tools are not a substitute for anything. Social media is becoming more of a trend instead of a fad, a new way to do business. Customer service is a great focus point for launching a social CRM initiative because the strength of “social” comes from the strength of the underlying community. Services & support is a natural point where company & customer interests come together. It’s more difficult to build a vibrant community if you start by marketing or selling.

    Social media tools are not a part of the traditional CRM strategy.People want to be engaged. So to be proficient & interactive with people is to get to know them first.

    That way you’ll have a better explanation & understanding of how to incorporate them into your customer engagement strategy. Don’t be afraid to use them. You need to broaden your horizons & try new things to reach people. Use them with caution. Many see CRM as technology but CRM is a strategy enabled by technology. It’s possible to limit yourself by implementing CRM before developing a customer engagement strategy.

    The various social media tools are just that “TOOLS.” Tools to enable you to interact more effectively with people. You may be like many other professionals who may or may not know about how social media tools are changing CRM. Don’t try to automate your way out of customer interaction by throwing social media tools at the real issues. Social media tools are meant to be enablers of beneficial customer interaction not the drivers or substitutions.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Clerical Business Solutions

    Virtual Assistant Services & Business Consulting http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

     
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